Monday, October 04, 2004

No sir, you don't fight that kind of terror with a head of lettuce!

It's a little disconcerting to come to work after 2 days off and find a long-time co-worker has been fired, or in this case "asked to resign." The name plaque on the cubicle now blank. And the essence of his persona as well. The Monty Python slogans. The blue pilates ball he sat on. The disarrayed books spread about the work area. The pictures of a daughter and her crayon art on the walls. The photo of him posing proudly with some semi-well known female entertainer. The music cd's jammed wall-to-wall inside the overhead cabinet. All gone. It would take longer to make him disappear if he had died.

It also pointed out to me how unobservant people are. There are two of us who end our weekend on Saturday night and begin our work week on Sunday. Employee One had been at the office since 8 a.m. and hadn't noticed anything. I clocked in around noon and immediately wondered at the absence of the big blue ball as I passed his cubicle on the way to mine. "Employee One!" I shouted. "Where's D's ball?" Then the black unlettered name plate stared at me. And then the rest.

We two are sad. Maybe some others at work are, too. D was a good guy til his bitter divorce about 2 years ago. Since then he's been self-destructing. Drinking too much. Late for work. Really late for work. Searching for young blond women in the internet personals on company time. Volatile on occasion. He was given a number of warnings and had made two "formal" commitments in writing promising to do better. I guess his chances ran out. I would like to be supportive but he hasn't been my friend for a long time. I don't know how it happened. Maybe he associated my behavior with his ex-wife's.

I wonder about the legality and/or morality about asking someone to resign as opposed to firing them. It's happened before. It almost happened to me.

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